Lenovo, in partnership with Agastya International Foundation, has announced that it has impacted over 6,000+ underprivileged students with their mobile science education outreach programmes in India. These programmes are currently operational in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi.
By making experiential science education accessible to rural government schools, Lenovo hopes to facilitate STEM education for students from resource-constrained communities. Responding to queries from CB, the company spokesperson explains that by using experiential and hands-on, child-centric learning, teacher education and scalable methods, Lenovo aims to bring about a shift in vital behaviours through innovative and effective outreach channels. The aim is to build local leadership among the children, hone their problem-solving skills, and encourage entrepreneurial thinking.
To reach out to more numbers of underprivileged students, Lenovo supports Agastya Foundation’s science laboratory in Bengaluru. The programme caters to 1,500 children annually, generating 15,000 student exposures and 100 teacher exposures in the same time period. As explained in an official press release, an exposure is a measure of Agastya’s reach. It is the number of times Agastya has face-to-face interactions with an individual (child/teacher/community member), with each exposure being 2 to 3 hours in duration. The company claims that it has garnered a total of 94,413 exposures to date.
Lenovo also supports 3 iMobile Labs. These labs are small vehicles that carry laptops and have the so-called Lab on Tab (LoT), a multi-sensory learning method containing digitised content for 6th–9th grades. As informed by the spokesperson, children get acquainted with a variety of topics in physics, chemistry and biology through the lessons on a tab and perform appropriate topic-reinforcing experiments. Learning outcomes are assessed through a quiz integrated into the digital lesson. Local community youth are trained to be teachers as part of this programme, thus creating an economic opportunity within the community. The programme has 39,000 student exposures and 450 teacher exposures annually. These iMobile vans are functional in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurgaon.
One of the highlights of these programmes is the new learning pedagogy of ‘explore, play and learn’ sessions promoting self-learning, questioning capabilities, and self-exploring capacities of students using digital content. For all these programmes, the assessment parameters include unique student count and total number of exposures, a key indicator to see how many times a particular student is attending the LoT/Science Centre/iMobile sessions. The team monitors the usage data, collects qualitative evidence, and generates usage data reports on a quarterly basis.
‘At Lenovo, we are committed to empowering educational institutions by delivering innovative education solutions and providing best-in-class devices that are accessible to all. In a remote learning setting, Lenovo also understands the need for such solutions and with our partnership with Agastya Foundation, we ensure that there is continued support and learning for underprivileged kids. With Agastya’s flexible and far-reaching digital programmes that maintain the connection between teachers and students, it is safe to say that blended learning is becoming the new norm in India,’ states Rahul Agarwal, CEO & Managing Director, Lenovo India, in a press release shared with CauseBecause.
Mentioning that the main challenges in programme implementation include maintaining a good working relationship with government authorities, finding and training of instructors, and managing turnover of staff, the spokesperson says that they have set up mechanisms to deal with these effectively.